Harman Kaya is located in the Rhodope mountains in south-east Bulgaria. It is a concentration of various features hewn into rock surrounding a deep cave that once featured a door, various rock cut basins, wall niches, observation platforms, altars, and stone thrones. Harman Kaya translates as “the place of rocky grounds.”
The stone sanctuary of Harman Kaya can be seen in the video below:
Archeoastronomical research of the ancient solar observatory found on one of the platforms at Harman Kaya indicates this rock complex was originally created and used for solar observations around 2000 BC.1
A key feature of Harman Kaya is a solar observatory that marks the solstices and equinoxes in very much the same way as Macedonia’s Kokino Observatory, where one can stand in a specific observation spot opposite a wall of rock formations to observe the sun as it rises and sets on the other side of this stone wall throughout the year. On solstice and equinox days the sun can be seen through specific notches in the rock formation.
A photo of the sun observed through a notch within the rock wall on summer solstice day can be seen here.
The floor of this observation spot features concentric semicircles carved into the rock. A stone throne oriented towards north-east can be found hewn into the rock on the west end of this formation,2 which again is reminiscent of the Kokino site where a stone throne is positioned in the key observation spot.
Additional photos of the surroundings (click on each photo to enlarge):
More beautiful photos of this rock complex (as well as other similar sites in Bulgaria) can be found on photographer Krasimir Andonov’s photo gallery here.
Information about ancient sites aligned to the sun can be found here:
Pavlin Boev and Laura Boeva contributed research and photos for this article.
Harman Kaya. Research by Stoev, A. and others 2003. Accessed August 02, 2017. http://rock-cut.thracians.org/en/s_m_harman.php.